While your septic system may not be the most exciting thing about cottage living, keeping your septic properly maintained is important for the well being of your family and the environment.

Brought to you by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.


The Do’s and Don’ts of Your Septic System

Learn these simple steps to protect your home, health, environment and property value.


Protect it and inspect it

DO: have your system inspected every 3 years by a licensed contractor and have the tank pumped, when necessary, generally every 3 to 5 years.


Think at the sink


pour cooking grease or oil down the sink or toilet

rinse coffee grounds in the sink

pour household chemicals down the sink or toilet


Eliminate or limit the use of garbage disposal

Properly dispose of coffee grounds and food

Put grease in a container to harden before discarding in the trash


Don’t overload the commode


Flush non-degradable products or chemicals such as feminine hygiene products, condoms, dental floss, diapers, digarette butts, cat litter, paper towels and pharmaceuticals


Dispose of these items in the trash can!


Shield your field


Park or drive on your drainfield. The weight can damage the drain lines

Plant trees or shrubs too close to your drainfield. Roots can grow into your system and clog it


Consult a septic service professional to advise you of the proper distance for planting trees and shrubs, depending on your septic tank location


Don’t strain your drain


Concentrate your water use by using your dishwasher, shower, washing machine and toilet at the same time. All that extra water can really strain your septic system


Stagger the use of water-generating appliances. This can be helpful especially if your system has not been pumped in a long time

Become more water efficient by fixing plumbing leaks and consider installing bathroom and kitchen faucet aerators and water-efficient products


For more information about septic systems, click here to download the SepticSmart PDF